FreshPatents.com Logo
stats FreshPatents Stats
n/a views for this patent on FreshPatents.com
Updated: April 14 2014
newTOP 200 Companies filing patents this week


    Free Services  

  • MONITOR KEYWORDS
  • Enter keywords & we'll notify you when a new patent matches your request (weekly update).

  • ORGANIZER
  • Save & organize patents so you can view them later.

  • RSS rss
  • Create custom RSS feeds. Track keywords without receiving email.

  • ARCHIVE
  • View the last few months of your Keyword emails.

  • COMPANY DIRECTORY
  • Patents sorted by company.

AdPromo(14K)

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Radiographic image capturing apparatus

last patentdownload pdfdownload imgimage previewnext patent


20120277625 patent thumbnailZoom

Radiographic image capturing apparatus


A radiographic image capturing apparatus includes a compression member, which is displaceable with respect to a holding member that holds a target object to be examined. The compression member is displaced toward the holding member for compressing the target object held by the holding member while the compression member is tilted with respect to the holding member along lateral directions of the target object as viewed in front elevation.

Browse recent Fujifilm Corporation patents - Tokyo, JP
Inventor: Hiroki NAKAYAMA
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120277625 - Class: 600567 (USPTO) - 11/01/12 - Class 600 
Surgery > Diagnostic Testing >Sampling Nonliquid Body Material (e.g., Bone, Muscle Tissue, Epithelial Cells, Etc.) >Cutting >Body Pierced By Tubular Cutter Or Rod-type Punch

view organizer monitor keywords


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120277625, Radiographic image capturing apparatus.

last patentpdficondownload pdfimage previewnext patent

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from Japanese Patent Application No. 2011-099367 filed on Apr. 27, 2011, of which the contents are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a radiographic image capturing apparatus for compressing a target object to be examined of an examinee, irradiating the target object with radiation, and then detecting and converting radiation that has passed through the target object into a radiographic image.

2. Description of the Related Art

Heretofore, a biopsy procedure has widely been performed in which a sampling needle is inserted into a target object to be examined in order to extract a tissue sample from a test region in the target object. More specifically, a biopsy apparatus for carrying out such a biopsy procedure is incorporated in a radiographic image capturing apparatus for capturing radiographic images of target objects to be examined. The radiographic image capturing apparatus, with the biopsy apparatus incorporated therein, operates in the following manner. A target object to be examined, such as the breast of a patient or a phantom that simulates a breast, is placed on an image capturing base (holding member) and is compressed by a compression plate (compression member), and then the target object is irradiated with radiation. Radiation that has passed through the target object is converted into a radiographic image by a radiation detector. Based on the position of a test region in the target object, which is obtained from the radiographic image, a sampling needle is inserted into the target object to remove a sample tissue of the test region.

Two processes are available in the art for inserting a sampling needle into a target object. According to one of the processes, which may be referred to as a vertical approach process, the sampling needle is inserted through an opening in the compression plate into the target object, along a direction in which the target object is compressed by the compression plate, i.e., along a direction toward the holding member. The other process, which may be referred to as a lateral approach process, inserts the sampling needle laterally into a side area of the target object, which is compressed by the compression plate.

According to the lateral approach process, in a case where the target object is viewed in front elevation, the sampling needle pierces a side area of the target object along a horizontal direction thereof. Therefore, the compression plate does not need to have an opening therein for allowing the sampling needle to pass therethrough. However, since the target object is compressed under uniform pressure along the horizontal direction, in a case where the sampling needle is inserted into the side area of the target object perpendicularly to the direction in which the target object is compressed, the target object is likely to become positionally displaced in a direction away from the side area that is pierced by the sampling needle.

According to the lateral approach process, therefore, compared to the vertical approach process, the pressure applied to compress the target object tends to be stronger, so as to prevent the target object from being unduly positionally displaced. Such increased pressure, which is applied to the target object, poses a greater burden on the target object.

Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2009-207681 and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2009/0135997 disclose methods of compressing a target object. According to the compressing method disclosed in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2009-207681, a compression plate is tilted along a depth-wise direction of the target object to compress and hold the target object obliquely to the depth-wise direction. The compressing method disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2009/0135997 uses two rods that extend in a depth-wise direction of the target object. The two rods support respective opposite ends of a flexible sheet and are displaced toward the image capturing base until they reach the same height, whereupon the target object held on the image capturing base is covered with the sheet.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

If the compressing method disclosed in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2009-207681 is applied to a radiographic image capturing apparatus in which a lateral approach biopsy procedure is carried out, then since the compression plate, which is tilted along the depth-wise direction of the target object, compresses the target object, the pressure applied to the target object is uniform along the horizontal direction of the target object. If the compressing method disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2009/0135997 is applied to a radiographic image capturing apparatus in which a lateral approach biopsy procedure is carried out, then since two rods are displaced toward the image capturing base until the rods reach the same height, the pressure applied to the target object also is uniform along the horizontal direction of the target object.

Consequently, even if a lateral approach biopsy procedure is applied in order to compress the target object in the disclosed compressing methods, in a case where the sampling needle is inserted into the target object along the horizontal direction, the compressed target object tends to be positionally displaced by the inserted sampling needle.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a radiographic image capturing apparatus, which is capable of preventing a compressed target object from being positionally displaced upon a lateral approach biopsy procedure being performed on the target object.

To achieve the above object, there is provided in accordance with the present invention a radiographic image capturing apparatus comprising a radiation source for applying radiation to a target object to be examined, a radiation detector for detecting radiation that has passed through the target object and for converting the detected radiation into a radiographic image, a holding member for holding the target object, and a compression member, which is capable of being displaced toward the holding member for compressing the target object held by the holding member while the compression member is tilted with respect to the holding member along lateral directions of the target object as viewed in front elevation.

Since the compression member is tilted with respect to the holding member along lateral directions of the target object as viewed in front elevation, the surfaces of the compression member and the holding member, which compress the target object, are tilted with respect to each other across the target object. Therefore, pressure that is applied to the target object from the compression member and the holding member is distributed unevenly along the lateral directions.

If a portion of the target object where the pressure applied to the target object is relatively low is pierced by a sampling needle along one of the lateral directions, then since the other portion of the target object is compressed and held down in position under a relatively high pressure, the target object is prevented from being unduly positionally displaced, despite the piercing force that the target object receives from the sampling needle. As a consequence, the sampling needle is accurately inserted into the target object with respect to a test region therein, whereby the sampling needle can reliably and efficiently remove a sample tissue from the test region.

According to the present invention, therefore, since the compression member compresses the target object held by the holding member while the compression member is tilted with respect to the holding member along the lateral directions of the target object, the pressure that is applied to the target object from the compression member and the holding member is unevenly distributed along the lateral directions. As a result, the compressed target object is prevented from being unduly positionally displaced during a lateral approach biopsy procedure. Further, preventing the compressed target object from being unduly positionally displaced is effective to avoid compressing the target object under excessively high pressure, so that undue stress on the target object can be reduced.

The radiographic image capturing apparatus may further include a sampling needle for piercing a side region of the target object compressed by the compression member along a piercing direction to remove a sample tissue from a test region in the target object, and a tilted direction determiner for determining a tilted direction in which the compression member is tilted with respect to the holding member based on the piercing direction. Therefore, the tilted direction in which the compression member is tilted with respect to the holding member is determined based on the piercing direction along which the side portion of the target object is pierced. Consequently, the target object is effectively prevented from being unduly positionally displaced when the sampling needle pierces the target object.

In a case where the sampling needle pierces the side region of the target object, the tilted direction determiner may determine the tilted direction such that the distance between the holding member and the compression member becomes progressively smaller from the side region of the target object toward an opposite side region thereof. Accordingly, the pressure under which the target object is compressed is relatively low on one side of the target object where the compression member and the holding member are widely spaced from each other, whereas the pressure under which the target object is compressed on the other side of the target object is relatively high where the compression member and the holding member are in close proximity to each other. In a case where the one side of the target object is pierced by the sampling needle along one of the lateral directions, since the other side of the target object is compressed or held down in position under a relatively high pressure, the target object is reliably prevented from being unduly positionally displaced toward the other side along the one lateral direction.

The radiographic image capturing apparatus may further include a piercing direction determiner for determining the piercing direction of the sampling needle with respect to the target object based on a present position of the sampling needle. Since the piercing direction determiner automatically determines the piercing direction, the tilted direction can easily be determined.

The compression member may further comprise a compression plate, which is displaceable from the radiation source toward the holding member, or a compression plate, which is displaceable from the radiation source toward the holding member and a first spacer interposed between the compression plate and the target object, or a compression sheet, which is displaceable from the radiation source toward the holding member. The holding member may comprise an image capturing base that houses the radiation detector therein for holding the target object, or an image capturing base that houses the radiation detector therein for holding the target object and a second spacer, which is interposed between the image capturing base and the target object.

With the compression member and the holding member being constructed as described above, the following arrangements [1] through [9] for the radiographic image capturing apparatus may be provided.

[1] The radiographic image capturing apparatus may include a first rotational shaft extending in a depth-wise direction of the target object and which is coupled to the compression plate, and a rotary actuator for rotating the compression plate about the first rotational shaft, so as to tilt the compression plate with respect to the holding member. The compression plate can thus be easily tilted with respect to the holding member. [2] The radiographic image capturing apparatus may include a tilted state maintaining mechanism for keeping the compression plate in a tilted state where the compression plate is tilted such that an end or an opposite end thereof is closer to the holding member across the target object as viewed in front elevation. The target object can thus reliably be kept in a compressed state.

Download full PDF for full patent description/claims.

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Radiographic image capturing apparatus patent application.
###
monitor keywords



Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Radiographic image capturing apparatus or other areas of interest.
###


Previous Patent Application:
Methods and apparatus for securing medical instruments to desired locations in a patient's body
Next Patent Application:
Fluid collection/injection device having safety needle assembly/cover and safety system and method
Industry Class:
Surgery
Thank you for viewing the Radiographic image capturing apparatus patent info.
- - - Apple patents, Boeing patents, Google patents, IBM patents, Jabil patents, Coca Cola patents, Motorola patents

Results in 0.64662 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Computers:  Graphics I/O Processors Dyn. Storage Static Storage Printers -g2-0.2295
     SHARE
  
           

FreshNews promo


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120277625 A1
Publish Date
11/01/2012
Document #
13456884
File Date
04/26/2012
USPTO Class
600567
Other USPTO Classes
250393
International Class
/
Drawings
29



Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents